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School Goes on Lock Down After Scout Leader Claims to See Armed Man
LOCKLAND, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- Police in Lockland locked down and searched the elementary and high school building Tuesday after a Girl Scout troop leader reported seeing a man in the building carrying a gun.
Officers did not locate a gun or a suspect after a search of the school.
Around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Allison Gill said she left the library to check on a student when she saw a man wearing a grey hoodie moving through the hallway carrying a silver handgun.
"When I turned around to go back upstairs something caught my eye. And out of the corner of my eye I looked down the hallway and there was a man at the end of the hallway that had a gun drawn and he was just kind of creeping around," Gill said.
Gill, a UC student, said she ducked into a classroom and asked a teacher to call 911. Gill then called her fellow troop leader, Lauren Friend, who was in the library with 19 Girl Scouts to warn her. Friend, a UC student and education major, said she knew what to do since she had received training.
"I was obviously panicked and ushered all of the girls into a back room and locked the door like we're taught to do when we're teachers," Friend said.
She said the girls clung to her and some cried before police officer came to the room to escort them out of the building.
Coincidentally, Lockland Police Lt. Terry Wilkerson was at the school for an unrelated matter when the 911 call was made. He and the school superintendent immediately placed the building on lock down.
Police from Evendale, Lincoln Heights, Springdale and Woodlawn came in to assist in the search of the school. Neither a suspect nor a gun was found.
"Because Lockland school is such a big building it requires a rather large response. There's four floors and many rooms to clear and we cleared every room from floor to floor," Lt. Wilkerson said.
While police didn't locate a gunman the incident remains under investigation. Police are combing through surveillance video to see whether they can identify the man who Gill said she saw in the hallway.
The incident happened after school hours so the building was not crowded. School superintendent Matt Bishop estimated 40 people were in the building at the time.
"When you see things like that happen, Sandy Hook, Nevada, you kind of reassess to make sure are you doing everything you can," Bishop said. He added, "We're going to provide the safest learning environment possible and administrators and teachers are going to make sure that we're following the plans we have in place."
Lockland School is scheduled to conduct a lock down drill in the next month or two. The other school in the district, Arlington Heights Academy, has already conducted its drill this year. That school has adopted ALICE training where students and school staff are trained to fight back against gunmen.
Bishop said Lockland school may implement the same procedure with the help of police.